Colorado’s Stoner Ranch is a complete recreational ranch in the heart of one of the Rockies’ best outdoor-adventure playgrounds. Bordered on three sides by U.S. Forest Service land, the 320-acre property features century-old homesteads and cabins that date back to the ranch’s founding in 1890. Stoner Ranch was listed for sale for $11.5 million on Lands of America on May 8, 2017; the sale price was recently reduced to $10.3 million.
With its 1.7 miles of private riverfront and 320 acres offering year-round outdoor adventure, Stoner Ranch is a blend of outdoor recreation and a working cattle ranch. The ranch includes a stretch of the famed Upper Dolores River—the Upper “D” to locals—which was named one of the “50 best trout streams in America” by Trout magazine.
Home to burly cutthroat, brown and rainbow trout, the Upper Dolores is a wild stream with headwaters in the San Juan Mountains, winding its way through the ranch and the Dolores River Valley before emptying out in McPhee Reservoir near the town of Dolores. (From there, the river continues as the dam-controlled Lower Dolores on its way to join the Colorado River in the Canyonlands region of eastern Utah.)
The current owners have carefully managed the ranch’s private fishing waters to create 25 vein arms off the river instead of channelizing the main course. Offering a number of pools for trout as well as habitat for other species like insects and birds, these enhancements have the added advantage of creating more docile pools where novice anglers can cast a line. More experienced anglers, meanwhile, gravitate towards the difficult and challenging spring-creek stretches of the Upper Dolores to land their trophy trout.
Framed by distinctive red-rock cliffs that are the hallmark of the desert spires and arches of the Four Corners region to the west of Durango, Stoner Ranch is host to herds of migrating elk who descend from the upper slopes to graze the ranch’s pastures and meadows. Nature lovers will marvel at the fall colors on hillsides covered by dense groves of aspen, spruce and cottonwood, plus meadows that bloom with spring wildflowers.
Stoner Ranch is centered around a large 5,805-square-foot lodge as well as the refurbished original homestead for additional living quarters. Beyond the world-class fly-fishing here, the property is equipped for year-round adventure that includes backcountry skiing and snowboarding down three on-property “earn-your-turn” trails.
The ranch’s private acreage, notwithstanding, adventure in this part of southwestern Colorado isn’t hard to find, with epic powder on the slopes of ski resorts like Telluride, Silverton and Durango. Other area highlights include some of the country’s best mountain biking, whitewater rafting and kayaking on rivers like the Animas and the twists and turns of the 233-mile San Juan Skyway, considered one of the country’s most scenic drives.
Stoner Ranch is a 45-minute drive from Telluride and 75 minutes from Durango. Private and commercial air services are available from area airports including Durango/La Plata County Airport (DRO), Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ), Telluride Regional Airport (TEX) and Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ).
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